Feeding on yeast hydrolysate enhances attraction to cue-lure in Queensland fruit flies, Bactrocera tryoni


*Correspondence: E-mail: cweldon@galliform.bhs.mq.edu.au


Feeding on yeast hydrolysate (a source of nitrogen) has a strong influence on the physiology and behaviour of the Queensland fruit fly (Q-fly), Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt) (Diptera: Tephritidae), affecting longevity, sexual maturation, oogenesis, and mating performance. In this study, we demonstrate that access to yeast hydrolysate also influences the development of attraction to cue-lure in Q-flies. We provided virgin Q-flies various periods of access to yeast hydrolysate (continuous, 48 h, 24 h, or deprived). Attraction of males to cue-lure was increased and occurred at an earlier age when they were fed yeast hydrolysate. Males given continuous access were strongly attracted to cue-lure at a younger age (8 days after emergence), but by 12 days after emergence attraction of males given access to yeast hydrolysate for 48 h did not differ from males given continuous access. Attraction by males deprived or given just 24 h access to yeast hydrolysate was always significantly lower than those of males with continuous access. Male attraction to cue-lure was highest in the early morning. While cue-lure is most often thought of as a male attractant, virgin female Q-flies were caught in cue-lure traps at dusk at ages when they are known to be sexually mature. We suggest that cue-lure or similar natural chemicals play a role in the Q-fly mating system. γ-Irradiation used to induce sterility had no significant effect on attraction to cue-lure by Q-flies.